Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 • Posted July 16, 2008

Rodeos, pups, puppies, wild horses, young boys and girls with twinkles in their eyes….what could speak country…what could speak MASON louder than that?

On Thursday evening we witnessed the first pups of the season joining in on the emergence. Now don’t put a picture in your mind of a tiny border collie, a tinier toy poodle, a baby Great Dane, or an Irish Setter puppy hanging over the edge of the cave waiting to jump into the emergence. No, the pups that we are talking about are the babies of the momma bats at the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. Although only five to six weeks old, they are making their first attempt at being a teenager and tasting a little of the freedom and a lot of the responsibility that goes with taking this step. Sometimes this scene is comparable to a wild bronc bustin’ out of the chute….turning and twisting and going who knows where…!!

A young bat is nursed by its mother until this time. It then is responsible to make it on its own. It will stretch its little wings and strengthen them daily until the night comes for him/her to use them to drop down into the vortex or air current that their moms are making. This current carries them out and up…up…up where they will feed on bugs all over the countryside. They go to heights of two miles up to get into the air stream that carries them to their favorite food…the cotton boll worm moth.

Speakin’ of young ‘un’s, we had us a genuine “Lil Arliss” visit us at the cave on Saturday night. This youngster is the great grandson of the fellar who wrote “Old Yellar”, Fred Gibson. This young man’s first name was Gibson, but he likes to be called Luke. He and his brothers were as cute as a batch of new born pups (dogs or bats)!

I netted a bat to show to the crowd. Luke was chosen to name this bat. He bestowed the name, Purry Lou on this little lady. This is certainly a name she can carry proudly as she flies the night skies over Texas. Purry Lou is a very special bat because she was chosen to be the “Anniversary Bat.”

In the crowd on Saturday evening, we had a young married couple. Five years ago to the day, they had met at the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve while working as biology students with Dr. Kuntz from Boston, Massachusetts. Miss Purry Lou is now added to that special memory in their minds and hearts…and also in a few photographs.

I know that many of you were enjoying the wonderful rodeo that Mason had at the fairgrounds last weekend, but you are welcome to join us as the 3.2 million Mason country bats put on a rodeo that will leave you breathless for hours. I f you want to be a part of our fun from now until about the middle of October, make plans to join us Thursday-Sunday evening from 6-9 P.M. Admission is $5.00 for gals or guys six years of age and up.

No matter whether you have bats or bulls, pups or love on your mind, the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve is where you need to head out to. Be sure to call the bat hotline to get the time the bats are coming out so that you are not late for the show. Who knows, maybe Miss Hiss, Sir Hiss, Licorice, or James, our resident COACHWHIPS, will open the show with some of their antics. These crawling cutups vie for center STAGE….

One more piece of fat to chew on before I leave…Early Morning Return/Volunteer Day is this Saturday, July 19th at the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. Join us at about 6:30 A.M. at the cave for tons more excitement. You will have more fun than a fox in a chicken house!! See ya there!!

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